Run Forever have been a part of the Pennsylvania DIY scene since 2010, releasing a few EPs and playing out before releasing their first LP in 2012, “Settling” on Tiny Engines. After some touring to help welcome “Settling” into the world, Run Forever released a split with Adventures in 2014 and signed to No Sleep Records.
Earlier this week, they released their second full length, “Run Forever.” Produced by Matt Talbot (of HUM) and Kyle Gilbride (of Swearin’) and recorded at Talbot’s Earth Analog Studios. “Run Forever” shows another shift in sound for the band, while still staying close to the warm and melancholic sound of their past. Run Forever plays an honest and close-to-the-heart brand of indie rock, with lyrics that will bring back emotions and memories from ages ago for any listener. Songwriter Anthony Heubel writes about experiences he’s had in a way that makes the listener feel like they were right there with him, feeling and seeing what he felt and saw.
While the first full length “Settling” shows Anthony trying to settle down after a big move to Braddock, PA (where Run Forever are currently located) where a small community is trying to rebuild a near extinct Pennsylvania steel town, Run Forever’s self titled second full length shows the band in a state not much unlike Braddock, PA. Rebuilding and restructuring, while attempting to stay near and true to the roots of the band. In a foaming sea of “indie rock revival” and “90’s revival” Run Forever remain a constantly hard working and honestly unique band.
I exchanged some emails with Anthony about the writing process, how Braddock influences the sound of his band, and some other things. You can see Run Forever at The Station on November 17th with Alright, Nervous Hands and Secret Tombs.
First things first, please introduce yourself.
Hello, this is Anthony. Good to be here!
So, you just put out a new record, how did making the second full length differ from the previous one? Anything that came to you easier this time around? Anything that was more difficult?
Sonically the biggest difference is that Run Forever was recorded in an analog studio, to tape, versus our last record being made all digitally. The songs have a really nice warm and real life sound to them, that I don’t think we could have captured otherwise. Musically there are a lot of elements of our previous records in Run Forever, just reined in a little and with a bit more experimentation. We spent a lot more time thinking about where to add and take away instruments, and really build the songs, than we had on previous records. Recording to tape was really hard, but it was such a good learning experience. You just have to be spot on and cant be fussy about weird nuances and errors. But it’s those things that end up making a record really unique and special.
The last time I saw y’all play, you were just a three piece. How has adding a fourth member changed the dynamic live/recording and writing?
Yeah, we’re a square now. No more triangle. RIP. It’s been awesome having Jeremy in the band. He switches about 50/50 between piano and guitar for our sets now. It’s added a whole other layer to our songs.
What’s one part of touring you would change, if you could?
Better PA Systems everywhere.
What gets played on the van stereo the most frequently?
Forever, Bright Eyes. But right now Lana Del Rey and Magnolia Electric Co for sure.
Braddock seems like an interesting place to live, do you ever feel like you’re on the set of some 80’s B movie where punks run this post apocalyptic town?
It’s really surreal at times, living here. I wouldn’t say that punks necessarily run the town, but there are a lot of punks who are involved with and invested in the community. Our friends Dana and Leslie run a screen printing lab out of the library here, another friend Marshall runs the Braddock Farm, Dave who recorded our last record owns a veggie oil business here. It’s not as abandoned as people think either, especially anymore. I’ve never felt more of a sense of community living anywhere else, everyone should come visit.
Keeping on that, does living in a place like Braddock influence the sound of your music?
I’d like to think it does. But more on a subconscious level, like a general atmosphere or vibe created by Braddock that finds its way into each song.
Some bands from certain scenes tend to have a very “New York” sound or “Nashville” sound, etc. What would the “Braddock” sound be?
Haha, very hard to describe, There are so many different types of bands here. The main sound here is the factory. [US Steel] You can hear that in a lot of Pittsburgh bands in general, especially in punk.
I’m staring at your X-Files rip patches as I type this. Which are you more excited for, the new season of X-Files or the new season of Twin Peaks?
That is a dangerous question.
What is the songwriting process like for the band?
I write a stripped down version of a song and record an acoustic demo of it. Then it’s brought to the rest of the band and if they like it we start trying to work it out as a band.
What’s next for Run Forever?
We’re always working on new music, we’re gonna’ be touring more now that our record just came out. We’ll be on tour with Looming in January, thats the plan for now!
John Russell is on Twitter. Ask him if he is a drummer.